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From the outside looking in, it’s hard to understand. From the inside looking out, it’s hard to explain, mental health needs talked about, not brushed under the muck pile.

Horse racing generally has more lows than highs, conclusively It’s a losing sport, you get beaten a lot more than you win, ultimately at some stage in any jockeys or trainers careers they start to question everything, ‘Am I doing it right?’, ‘Am I good enough?’

The mental state of any jockey or trainer is a fragile thing and it needs talked about, a big part of getting better is through acceptance and acceptance alone.

Everyone loves getting a winner, they wouldn’t be involved in the industry if that wasn’t the case however the demanding lifestyle is very time consuming to say the least.

Basically, starting work when they wake up and then finishing when they’re ready for bed, it doesn’t leave much time for anything in between.

Financial pressure, contrary to what people envisage the horse racing industry may be called the sport of kings however the people behind the scenes don’t get to see too much of the money.

Working all the hours given to them, with not a lot of money on offer can be disheartening but unfortunately that’s the nature off the beast.

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A feeling of isolation is widespread in the industry, when all you do is deal with horses, seemingly getting nothing in return. It can be a very sad and lonely place but when you feel like you’re losing the will, it’s best to talk to people around you.

Don’t suffer in silence, your friends and colleagues can make a massive difference to your situation, giving you a fresh outlook on how to move forward.

It’s a disorder, not a decision. There is no need to be embarrassed, seeking help is not weak.

There are trained industry specialists out there, who can speak to you privately, ultimately aiming to keep you focused on the positives in your life.

Only when we’re low, can we learn to appreciate the precious moments of feeling better, always remembering, there is no rainbow without the rain.

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If you or someone you know needs help, you can telephone Lifeline free at any time. Lifeline is a crisis response helpline available 24 hour a day, seven days a week to people in Northern Ireland. It offers immediate help over the telephone if you, or someone you know, is in distress or despair.

telephone: 0808 808 8000

Lifeline freephone helpline

The Samaritans

The Samaritans offer a 24-hour telephone helpline:

telephone: 028 9066 4422 (local call charges apply)

National telephone:116 123 (this number is free to call)

textphone: 08457 90 91 92

Rep Ireland

The Samaritans

The Samaritans

Tel: 116 123

Text: 087 2 60 90 90


Aware (Depression & Bi-Polar Disorder)

Tel: 1800 80 48 48


Pieta House (Suicide & Self-harm)

National Suicide Helpline (Pieta House) 1800 247 247

Tel: 01 623 5606 (Online one to one or group counselling)

Grow (Mental Health support and Recovery)

Tel: 1890 474 474

Bodywhys (Eating Disorders Associations of Ireland)

1890 200 444

Irish Advocacy Network (Peer advocacy in mental health)

Tel: 01 872 8684

IACP (Counselling & Psychotherapy)

Tel: 01 230 3536

Irish Council for Psychotherapy (Counselling & Psychotherapy)

Tel: 01 905 8698

Shine (Supporting people effected by mental ill health)